Wednesday, June 9, 2010
Selene of Alexandria by Faith L. Justice
Set in 5th century Alexandria, Selene of Alexandria is the story of a fictional young girl on the verge of womanhood whose desire is to study and become a physician is pure fiction magic. She longs to be mentored by Hypatia, (true historical woman) who was a famous and controversial philosopher during that era.
First, she must fight the social values that insist that noblewomen’s only role were to be wives and mothers. Through a set of gutsy moves, Selene succeeds in all her aspirations. But conflicts between city politicians and religious leaders soon interfere with her plans, bringing danger and hardship and death into her life.
For a debut novel, Selene of Alexandria, is a powerful tale of a woman’s struggles to become a legitimate healer. The backdrop consists of world where Christians are at odds with Jews, where violence and injustice rule. Orestes, the handsome new governor finds himself at odds with the junior, ambitious new cleric named Cyril. At the heart of the novel is the tragic character of Hypatia.
The author has weaved a brilliant tale that brings to life this fascinating era, complete with never-to-forgotten characters, unrequited love, and the desire of one woman to overcome adversity. The ancient civilization of Alexandria comes to life because of the author’s meticulous research that spanned nearly two decades and her penchant for detail. This novel clearly shows the writer’s passion for the era and its characters. It is a story that picks up momentum with each page until it reaches a very explosive ending. Highly recommended.